protein source

Signs of Protein Deficiency You Must Not Miss

Recommended Daily Protein Intake
Signs of Protein Deficiency
How to Diagnose Protein Deficiency?
How to Fix Protein Deficiency?
Conclusion

Proteins are the essential building blocks of the human body. Every cell, tissue, and organ requires proteins for their function and survival. But the body cannot store proteins for future use. Therefore, getting it every day through a balanced diet is important for optimal functioning of the body. People who fail to meet their daily protein requirements face a range of protein deficiency symptoms. Read through to know more about signs of protein deficiency which must not be ignored.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein is 0.8 g per kg of body weight per day. Thus, to calculate your daily protein requirement multiply your body weight by 0.8. For instance, for an individual who weighs 60 Kg, the daily protein requirements are 60 X 0.8 = 48 g each day.

However, the protein requirement further increases for resistance trainers, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers. They might need twice as much protein as an average adult. This is roughly around 1-1.2 g per kg of body weight.

The daily protein intake can be achieved by including high-protein foods into your daily diet. At least 10% of the daily calorie intake must be sourced through proteins. 

The early signs of protein deficiency indicate impending trouble. Chronic and severe protein deficiency leads to Hypoproteinemia. 

Signs of Protein Deficiency

5 Signs of Protein Deficiency

Proteins are found in almost every part of the body – nails, skin, hair, bones, and muscles. So, if the protein intake continues to remain compromised for a prolonged period, every body part begins to show signs of protein deficiency. These include:

  1. Swelling or Oedema

Kwashiorkor, a protein deficiency disease, is marked by classical swelling of the ankle, feet, and the abdominal cavity.

This is caused by reduced levels of human serum albumin, the most abundant protein in the blood plasma. Albumin is responsible for maintaining the body’s oncotic pressure which holds the fluid into circulation. This prevents the accumulation of fluids in tissues and cavities.

Thus, when protein intake is compromised, it directly leads to swelling or oedema.

  1. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver

Although fatty liver is commonly associated with alcohol abuse, it is triggered by protein deficiency in non-alcoholics. It is marked by fat accumulation in the liver cells. 

Researchers believe that protein deficiency impairs the synthesis of lipoproteins, the fat-transporting proteins. This leads to fat accumulation in the liver cells. The condition, if left untreated, leads to liver inflammation, scarring, and liver failure.

  1. Skin Troubles

Skin, the largest organ of the human body, is made of the protein collagen. Collagen is responsible for making the skin cells strong and resilient. It confers elasticity to the skin. The skin shows protein deficiency symptoms by turning flaky and patchy. While children are more prone to splitting skin and redness, adults experience acne and premature ageing.

  1. Hair Problems

Hair is primarily made up of protein Keratin which is made up using several amino acids. Keratin is vital for hair’s elasticity, colour, and shine. Sticky, stringy, and limp hair are possible signs of protein deficiency. The hair strands become thin and brittle with split ends. The colour of hair looks faded and there is excessive hair loss

  1. Weak Nails

Nails also show visible signs of protein deficiency. As proteins are responsible for giving nails their strength, brittle nails are the most common symptom of protein deficiency. White-lined bands across the nail bed also signal protein deficiency.

  1. Slow Healing of Wounds

Proteins play an important role in the cell life cycle. They are vital for new cell development as well as maintenance and survival of cells. A lack of proteins also affects the body’s ability to make collagen, the protein found in the skin’s connective tissues. Blood clotting too requires proteins. Therefore, people with protein deficiency experience impaired and slow healing of injuries and wounds. 

  1. Mood Swings and Irritability

Neurotransmitters in the brain help relay information between cells. The neurotransmitters are made of amino acids, the molecules that join together to form proteins. Thus, a lack of proteins in the diet will impact the number of neurotransmitters functioning in the brain. This affects the working of the brain and disturbs the production of hormones linked to depression and sleep. This leads to frequent mood changes and other depression symptoms.

  1. Loss of Muscle Mass

Proteins are paramount for muscle growth, repair, and maintenance. The proteins are stored in the muscles and used to carry out the important body functions. In case of low protein intake, the skeletal muscles help cater to the body’s demands.

But chronic protein deficiency leads to wasting of muscles which may eventually result in the inability to maintain balance, muscle weakness, and fatigue.

  1. Weakness

Proteins, along with fats and carbohydrates, are the fuel for the body. Running low on proteins is a cause of constant weakness and fatigue. It affects your body’s strength and ability to perform.

  1. Hunger Cravings

Proteins help the body feel full and therefore help in mindful eating. While unhealthy eating habits and poor appetite contribute to severe protein deficiency, excessive eating and hunger cravings are major signs of protein deficiency. When the protein intake is less than optimal, the body signals the mind to eat. So, until the body feels full again, hunger cravings are on a high. 

Thus, poor protein intake is often related to weight gain and obesity. But as proteins are more satiating than carbs and fat, they are effective in reducing overall calorie intake and are thus used in weight-loss diets.

  1. Compromised Immune System

Immunity is the body’s ability to fight infections. All body cells work in tandem to achieve this. As protein deficiency affects the body’s basic unit – the cells, the immune system is compromised. 

This increases the chances of contracting infections and also worsens their severity level.

  1. Increased Risk of Bone Fractures

Proteins in our daily diet have a direct impact on bone health. Eating adequate proteins increases muscle mass, enhances calcium absorption, suppresses the parathyroid hormone, and augments the insulin-like growth factor 1 production; these are important attributes for good bone health.

Furthermore, proteins also promote bone healing. Being the essential building blocks, they naturally spur up the bone repair process in events of fractures.

  1. Stunted Growth in Children

The body needs proteins to digest and absorb nutrients from the food. Protein deficiency thus harms the bodies of children as they require an adequate and uninterrupted supply of proteins for growth. Besides stunted growth, protein deficiency is also linked to malnutrition.

How to Diagnose Protein Deficiency?

The signs of protein deficiency are telltale. They hold vital clues about the functioning of the body. However, the degree of protein deficiency is ascertained through a blood test. A physician will prescribe a set of blood tests, including total protein, albumin, and albumin/globulin (A/G) ratio. The results of these tests will reveal the amount of protein circulating in the blood. 

How to Fix Protein Deficiency?

The problems related to protein deficiency can be fixed by increasing the intake of dietary proteins. While low-protein deficiency and mild-protein deficiency can be reversed by eating a high-protein diet, severe protein deficiency or hypoproteinemia will require medical intervention and support.

The process of ‘refeeding’ the body cells with proteins is gradual. It can take up to a few weeks to months before the signs of protein deficiency begin to recede.

Including high-protein foods in your daily diet is the easiest way to fix protein deficiency. Foods like lean meats, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy products are naturally rich in proteins. Vegetarian protein sources include lentils, legumes, nuts, soy, etc.

Interestingly, proteins sourced from animals are called ‘complete’ proteins as they contain all the 20 amino acids required by the body to function correctly. Of these, 9 essential amino acids namely, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine are not produced by the body and therefore must be sourced through food. One can also include protein supplements to make up for the depleted levels.

Conclusion

Our body is made of proteins. They are the crucial molecules that act as the building blocks of cells. These cells combine to form muscles, skin, hair, bones, and blood. For this reason, protein deficiency symptoms are extremely widespread.

While hair, skin, and nails exhibit early signs of protein deficiency, severe protein deficiency is characterised by oedema, stunted growth, non-alcoholic fatty liver, and a range of other medical conditions. Low protein intake is also linked to loss of muscle mass and an enhanced risk of bone fractures.

Fortunately, cases of low and mild protein deficiency can be reversed by including high-protein foods in the daily diet. But the reversal is slow and gradual and will depend upon the quality of proteins consumed. 

Protein deficiency can also occur if your protein is not ‘complete’. Choosing the right proteins, therefore, holds the key to good health. 

Ever Wondered Which Fish Has Highest Protein?

Importance of Protein and How Much We Should Consume
Which Fish Has Highest Protein?
Conclusion

Animal-based protein is termed ‘complete’ protein. It contains all nine essential amino acids – histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. As the body cannot produce them, they are to be sourced through foods and fish protein is considered the best source. But which fish has highest protein? Read through to know.

Importance of Protein and How Much We Should Consume

Proteins, in addition to carbohydrates and fats, make up the body’s calorie intake. They provide the energy to carry out a day’s work. Almost 10-35% of the daily dietary intake should comprise proteins. Proteins are further made up of amino acids that act as the body’s building blocks. They are widely present across cells, tissues, organs, blood and muscles. Proteins are the second most abundant compound found in the body after water.

According to the daily dietary recommendations, one must consume at least 0.8 gm of protein per kg of body weight per day. It is important to note that the daily requirement of proteins is directly linked to the activity levels. Based on activity levels, one can calculate the daily protein intake as follows:

  1. 1 gm per kg of body weight per day for people with minimal activity
  2. 1.3 gm per kg of body weight per day for people with moderate levels of exercise
  3. 1.6 gm per kg of body weight per day for people with intense exercise

While this might sound like a lot of protein, by including the highest protein fish in your daily diet, this can easily be attained. 

Which Fish Has Highest Protein?

Each type of fish has a unique nutritional value but some contain the highest protein. These include:

  1. Tuna

Every 100 gm serving of tuna fish contains 33 grams of protein and 225 calories, the highest fish protein found in any form of seafood. Tuna fish are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D and other essential nutrients like Vitamin B6, potassium, selenium, iron, and iodine. But because it is high in mercury levels, the consumption of this high-protein fish must be limited to a maximum of three 100 gm servings every week.

  1. Anchovy

Anchovy, a small fish, found in marine water, is usually classified as an oily fish. The bluish-green fish with silver longitudinal lines are long and slender. Every 100 gm serving of Anchovy (canned in oil) contains 210 calories with 29 g of proteins. It contains 9.7 g of total fat with high amounts of Sodium, Potassium, Selenium, Calcium, Iron, and Vitamin A. Anchovy have low mercury levels and therefore, can be safely enjoyed as a high protein source. The fish has high omega-3 fatty acids, especially Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). Its high Selenium content helps protect against thyroid.

  1. Shrimp 

The small-sized Shrimp, typically ranging from 1 inch to 3 inches in length, is mighty rich in proteins. Every 100 g serving of Shrimp confers 24 g of proteins with about 100 calories. Shrimp are mostly made up of proteins and water and are rich in other vitamins and minerals like Phosphorus, Copper, Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, and Manganese. Each serving contains only 0.3 g of fats and 0.2 g of carbohydrates, making it an ideal inclusion in weight loss diets. The antioxidants present in Shrimp mainly protect cells from damage. The average mercury concentration in Shrimp is relatively low, making it a safe fish protein source.

  1. Lobster

Lobsters are a rich source of protein. Per 100 g of serving contains 22.1 g of proteins, 98 calories and less than 1 g of fat. Thus, it is a lean, low-calorie source of protein. Lobsters are also rich in Zinc, Phosphorus, Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Omega 3 Fatty acids. Lobsters are typically high in HDL, the good cholesterol. With low mercury content, they are a safe option for all, including pregnant women.

  1. Halibut

Halibut contains various heart-healthy nutrients – omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, selenium, and magnesium. Fish is a good source of high-quality protein. Every 100 g serving of Halibut contains 22.5 g of proteins with 111 calories and 1.6 g of fat. Interestingly, a 160 g serving of halibut meets 100% of the daily dietary needs of selenium, a powerful antioxidant that helps to cure damaged cells. It is a complete protein source, providing all nine essential amino acids. Halibut fish contains low to moderate mercury levels, making it safe to eat in moderate amounts.

  1. Salmon

A widely popular fish in India, Salmon is a low-calorie, high-omega-3 fish with most protein. Every 100 g of raw salmon contains 20.5 g of high-quality protein. It confers 127 calories with 4.4 g of fats. The fish has 0 carbohydrates with high amounts of Vitamin A, B complex vitamins, and Vitamin D. It is also packed with minerals like Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, and Selenium. The salmon fish can be categorised into six species, ranging from wild fish to farmed species. Almost every variety of Salmon has low levels of mercury, making it a safe and tasty delight.

  1. Tilapia

Tilapia is a freshwater fish which contains high amounts of proteins and nutrients. It is an excellent source of protein, with every 100 gm serving of tilapia conferring 26 gm of high-quality protein. The fish is sans any carbohydrates and contains only 3 gm of fats. The fish is typically rich in minerals and vitamins, namely niacin, Vitamin B12, Phosphorus, and Selenium. Because Tilapia is primarily farm-raised, it has low mercury content as compared to other fish. They are considered safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

  1. Pollock

A Pollock fish is delicious and nutritionally rich. The fish finds its place in the list of ‘Top 20 Most Nutritious Foods in the World’ because of its unique nutritional composition. It is packed with 20 g of high-quality protein in every 100 g of fish. It has only 90 calories with less than 1 g of fat. It contains high amounts of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and Potassium. The fish is also rich in Sodium, Selenium, and Iron. It has low levels of mercury, making it safe for everyday consumption.

  1. Cod

Like Pollock, Cod is a fish with white, lean, and tender meat. It is an excellent source of animal protein containing all nine essential amino acids. Every 100 g serving of Cod fish delivers 23 g of high-quality protein and 105 calories. Only 0.9 g of fat makes it a healthy lean protein. The fish is primarily rich in Vitamin A, B, C, Iron, and Calcium. It is also a rich source of sodium and potassium. Its phosphorus and selenium content is especially important for the body. The cod liver oil extracted from the fish is an excellent source of Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. The fish is low in mercury, making it a better choice for consumption.

  1. Mackerel 

Mackerel is an oily fish with a firm texture. In addition to its mild taste, it boasts of high amounts of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. Each 100 gm serving of Mackerel delivers 19 gm of proteins with 189 calories. As Mackerel is an oily fish, it contains 12 gm of fats (3 gm of saturated fat, 4.5 gm of monounsaturated fat, and 2.9 gm of polyunsaturated fat). It is a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids. Mackerel is also an excellent source of Vitamin B3, iron, vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, and selenium. Mackerel contains high amounts of mercury. Its consumption must thus be restricted to no more than twice a week.

  1. Sardine

Sardine, a small, silvery oily fish, is a popular protein source. Every 100 g of Sardine serving is packed with 12 g of proteins, 100 calories, and 5 g of fats. Sardines also contain reasonable amounts of Vitamin B12, Selenium, Phosphorus, Vitamin D, Calcium, Vitamin B3, and Iodine. The omega-3 fatty acids found in the fish help protect heart health. Sardines have a really low mercury content so they can form a part of your everyday diet.

Conclusion

Which fish has highest protein? Fish are invariably pure proteins and all fish varieties are high-protein sources. Being an animal-based protein, it is thus a complete protein, conferring all nine essential amino acids to the body. Fish protein also bestows numerous health benefits as it is packed with healthy omega 3 fatty acids, various minerals and vitamins. But individuals should be wary that high mercury levels in some fish can be detrimental to human health. So, choosing the right fish and adjusting the consumption accordingly is essential.

Why Do We Need to Add High Protein Oats to Our Diet?

Oats are touted as the healthiest grains. A gluten-free whole grain makes it a popular and healthy oat protein even for the gluten intolerant. Besides being the richest source of dietary proteins, it is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants. Read through to know why adding high protein oats to our diet is vital for us.

What are Oats?

Oats, also called common oats, is a whole-grain cereal food. Its scientific name is Avena Sativa.

Grown from their seeds, oat groats are the most intact and ‘whole’ form of oats. They contain whole grain seed and the husk. The oat groat undergoes a range of processes to obtain oat-based food products that are easy to cook, tasty, and nutritious. 

To unlock their inherent flavour and texture, oat groats are milled, steamed, heated, and cooled in a kiln. They are then rolled, crushed, steel-cut, or grounded to produce flakes, oatmeal, and oat flour. Although each variety is cooked differently, all are excellent sources of oats protein.

Nutritional Components of Oats

Oats are nutritionally rich. They have a well-balanced nutritional composition which makes them a power-packed food grain. The nutritional components of oats include:

1. Carbohydrates

Two-thirds of oats by dry weight are made up of carbohydrates, primarily starch. It is responsible for providing fuel to the body. As the quality of starch ingested forms the basis of digestion rate, they can be classified as Rapidly Digestible Starch (RDS), Slowly Digestible Starch (SDS) and Resistant Starch (RS). Oats contain high amounts of SDS and RS which makes them extremely beneficial for health.

2. Proteins

Oats are considered to be an excellent source of dietary protein. Oats protein content ranges between 11% and 15%. Avenalin is the major protein found in oats. It is about 80% of the total protein content. Also, unlike other cereal grains, oat grains contain all four types of proteins classified based on their solubility namely:

  1. Water-soluble albumins
  2. Globulins that are salt-water [saline] soluble 
  3. Prolamins that are soluble in dilute alcohol solution 
  4. Glutelins that are soluble in dilute acids or bases

3. Dietary Fibre

Dietary fibre plays a crucial role in promoting digestive health. Oats contain both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre. While soluble fibre helps maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels, the insoluble dietary fibre forms the bulk portion of the stools.

4. Lipids

Oats contain a high amount of lipids which are an excellent source of energy and unsaturated fatty acids. The majority of lipids of oats are in the endosperm. Oats contain a healthy blend of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.

5. Vitamins and Minerals

Oats contain a range of trace minerals and vitamins which help make up for the body’s micronutrient needs. These include:

Minerals: 

  1. Copper – Helps maintain heart health
  2. Phosphorus – important for tissue and bone health
  3. Selenium – An antioxidant crucial for various body processes. Important for the immune system and mental functioning
  4. Calcium – Important for bone and teeth health
  5. Potassium – Helps maintain the normal fluid level within cells.
  6. Sodium – Important for conducting nerve impulses, aids in muscle contraction and relaxation, and helps maintain water-mineral balance.
  7. Magnesium – Crucial for the correct functioning of the body.
  8. Manganese – Important for development, growth, and healthy metabolism.
  9. Iron – The key component of haemoglobin, the protein responsible for transporting oxygenated blood.
  10. Zinc – A mineral important for several chemical reactions in the body

Vitamins:

  1. Vitamin E – Important for boosting immune health and maintaining healthy skin and eyes.
  2. Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) – Important for several metabolic reactions.
  3. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – Helps in the metabolism of fats and proteins to produce energy.
  4. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – Important for carrying out body functions properly.
  5. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – Critical for producing red blood cells.
  6. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – Vital for healthy brain development.
  7. Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) – Helps in converting carbohydrates into glucose.

6. Phytochemicals, Avenanthramides, and Other Compounds

Phytochemicals are plant-derived chemical compounds that play a crucial role in human well-being. Oats contain tocopherols, tocotrienols, flavonoids, and other non-flavonoid phenolic compounds which have antioxidant properties.

Avenanthramides are a unique category of antioxidants that possess anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic properties. Oats have high amounts of Avenanthramides.

Oats also contain several other plant compounds like Ferulic acid and Phytic acid. While Ferulic acid is an anti-inflammatory with anti-hypertensive properties, Phytic acid is important for the proper absorption of minerals like iron and zinc.

Benefits of High-Protein Oats

The nutritionally rich composition of oats proves to be a wholesome diet for the human body. The benefits include:

1. Providing Nutritional Boost

Starting your day with a bowl of oats for breakfast ensures that you get the requisite dose of nutrition to fuel your day well. This includes carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and more. Oats are considered to be the most nutrient-dense foods. Every 100 gm serving of raw oats includes:

Calories: 389 kcal

Water: 8%

Protein: 16.9 gm

Carbohydrates: 66.3 gm

Fibre: 10.6 gm

Fat: 6.9 gm

2. Reducing Cholesterol Levels

The high fibre content, especially the beta-glucan fibre in oats, helps cut down total cholesterol levels by inhibiting the reabsorption of bile acids. 

3. Improving Heart Health

The beta-glucan fibre prevents LDL or bad cholesterol from oxidation. As LDL cholesterol reacts with free radicals during oxidation, it causes inflammation of arteries that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

4. Improving Gut Health

Oats contain high amounts of soluble fibre, especially beta-glucan. They dissolve in water to form a thick, gel-like solution. This promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut as they pass through the digestive tract.

5. Helping Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

The high levels of beta-glucan fibre in oats help improve insulin sensitivity. Studies suggest that as beta-glucan dissolves in water to form a thick jelly, it delays the emptying of the stomach and slows down the absorption of glucose into the blood. This improves insulin sensitivity and helps maintain blood sugar levels.

6. Aiding in Weight Loss

High-protein oats are one of the most filling foods. With fewer calories and an increased feeling of fullness, they are one of the important additions to a weight loss diet plan. The beta-glucan in oats delays the emptying of the stomach. On the other hand, it also promotes the release of the YY (PYY) hormone, the satiety hormone. Increased levels of YY (PYY) hormone help reduce calorie intake.

7. Reducing the Risk of Asthma

The anti-inflammatory properties of oats help cut down chronic inflammation of the airways. Narrowed-down airways carrying air to and from the lungs inhibit the flow of smooth exchange of gases, leading to asthma. The symptoms may include recurrent coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

8. Helping Alleviate Constipation

The high amount of insoluble fibre present in the oats forms the bulk part of the stool. On the other hand, the soluble fibre content of the oats allows more water to remain in the stool. Together, they make the stool soft and large and therefore easier to pass. 

9. Reducing the Risk of Colon Cancer

Oats are loaded with fibre. Foods that are rich in fibre slow down the body’s ability to absorb blood sugar. Accumulation of blood sugar is the greatest risk factor for colon cancer. The high-fibre food also helps reduce blood cholesterol and sugar levels.

10. Recommended for Gluten Intolerance

Switching to a gluten-free diet is the only treatment for individuals with gluten sensitivity. Oatmeal is a gluten-free whole grain thus well tolerated by people with auto-immune disorders like celiac disease. Protein oats also increase the nutritional value of gluten-free diets.

11. Helping Relieve Skin Troubles

Oatmeal is quite helpful for the skin. It acts as a buffering agent and helps maintain the normal pH balance of the skin. Its antiviral properties help treat skin rashes. Protein oats are also known to have low histamine levels. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profiles of oats help reduce allergic skin reactions.

Conclusion

Thanks to their unique nutritional composition, oats are among the healthiest grains in the world. The high-protein oats are exceptionally rich in beta-glucan, a type of soluble fibre. The high levels of beta-glucan in oats are responsible for the numerous health benefits associated with eating protein oats. 

Oats also possess anti-inflammatory properties. The high levels of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other immune-boosting compounds present in oats help ward off inflammation in the body. 

The protein oats are extremely helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels; conditions that put a majority of the global population at increased health risk.

The presence of minerals and vitamins, that too in abundant quantities, make it a perfect health food to provide all the essential micronutrients required for optimal functioning of the body. Preparing your bowl of oatmeal is easy. Simply mix them in water or milk and add a few finely chopped fresh fruits or dry fruits. And you are good to go!

Egg Yolk and Egg White: Understanding the Benefits of Both

Egg Nutritional Benefits
Egg Yolk Benefits
Egg White Benefits
Nutritional Value of Egg Yolk and Egg White
Tips to Remember
Conclusion

Eggs are known to be one of the best sources of protein. The nutrient-rich eggs have a wide range of health benefits and must be a part of your daily diet. They are packed with vitamins and healthy fats and having them for breakfast regularly keeps us feeling full throughout the day. Eggs can be eaten in different ways such as omelettes, scrambled, or boiled; they can even be added to salads. Let’s have a look at the nutritional value and benefits of this superfood and also understand the benefits of both – egg yolk and egg white.

Egg Nutritional Benefits

Listed below are some of the major benefits of eating eggs:

  1. Eggs contain a little bit of every nutrient that our body needs to function properly and stay healthy. Eggs are high in cholesterol; a single egg contains about 212 mg of it. However, eating eggs doesn’t necessarily raise cholesterol in the blood and HDL i.e good cholesterol can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
  2. An egg contains more than 100 mg of choline, an important nutrient often grouped with the B vitamins. It is used to build cell membranes and plays a role in producing signalling molecules in the brain, along with various other functions.
  3. Eggs contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are powerful antioxidants beneficial for eye health as well as Vitamin A which is the best vitamin for eye health. With age, eyesight tends to get worse and these nutrients can significantly reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration – two common eye disorders. 
  4. In a study, it was seen that eating just 1.3 egg yolks per day for 4.5 weeks increased antioxidants in the body.
  5. Eggs are filling and make you eat fewer calories; they also help you lose weight. It is a satiating source of macronutrients and aids weight loss with regular intake.

Egg Yolk Benefits

Given below are the ways in which egg yolk benefits your health:

  1. Egg yolks are a highly concentrated source of choline, a water soluble compound that promotes normal brain development. It is recommended to eat egg yolks during pregnancy and while breastfeeding for the baby’s good brain health.
  2. Egg yolks are also rich in folate (which promotes healthy cell growth) and a wide range of vitamins.
  3. Egg yolks contain carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants good for eye health, helping prevent age-related macular degeneration and reducing the risk of cataracts.
  4. The egg yolks are also loaded with amino acids; they help break down food, provide energy, boost immunity, and regulate normal digestion.
  5. Egg yolk contains biotin, a crucial vitamin that promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails. It also aids in the digestion of food and metabolism. 
  6. Choline in egg yolks may also play a role in decreasing the risk of breast cancer in women.

Egg White Benefits

Now that we know how egg yolks are important for us, here are some of the benefits of egg whites:

  1. These are packed with protein and can be added to your diet without including too many calories. It is essential for muscle building and maintaining muscle mass as you age.
  2. After a strenuous session of workout, one must eat egg whites which will fuel the protein synthesis process.
  3. While egg yolks must be eaten in moderation, you can eat egg whites regularly as they contain no cholesterol and are even ideal for people suffering from heart problems.

Nutritional Value of Egg Yolk and Egg White

Eggs as a whole are extremely nutritious but here we can learn the nutritional values of both egg yolk and egg white:

NutrientWhiteYolk% Total in White% Total in Yolk
Protein3.6 gm2.7 gm57%43%
Fat0.05 gm4.5 gm1%99%
Calcium2.3 mg21.9 mg9.5%90.5%
Magnesium3.6 mg0.85 mg80.8%19.2%
Iron0.03 mg0.4 mg6.2%93.8%
Phosphorus5 mg66.3 mg7%93%
Potassium53.8 mg18.5 mg74.4%25.6%
Sodium54.8 mg8.2 mg87%13%
Zinc0.01 mg0.4 mg0.2%99.8%
Copper0.008 mg0.013 mg38%62%
Manganese0.004 mg0.009 mg30.8%69.2%
Selenium6.6 mcg9.5 mcg41%59%
Thiamin0.01 mg0.03 mg3.2%96.8%
Riboflavin0.145 mg0.09 mg61.7%48.3%
Niacin0.035 mg0.004 mg89.7%9.3%
Pantothenic acid.0.63 mg0.51 mg11%89%
B60.002 mg0.059 mg3.3%96.7%
Folate1.3 mcg24.8 mcg5%95%
B120.03 mcg0.331 mcg8.3%91.7%
Vitamin A0 IU245 IU0%100%
Vitamin E0 mg0.684 mg0%100%
Vitamin D0 IU18.3 IU0%100%
Vitamin K0 IU0.119 IU0%100%
DHA and AA094 mg0%100%
Carotenoids0 mcg21 mcg0%100%

Tips to Remember

Before you make eggs a part of your daily diet, be mindful of certain aspects:

  1. Egg whites can cause allergies which come from albumin, a protein found specifically in egg whites. It leads to itchy, watery eyes, hives or other rashes, stomach pain, nausea, and asthma-like symptoms‌.
  2. If you are on a weight loss diet, then you must eat only the low-fat, protein-rich egg white.
  3. Bacterial risks are common in eggs and can lead to food poisoning. Eggs must be fully cooked otherwise it may increase the risk of contracting Salmonella.

Conclusion

As you can see, the egg yolk has more actual nutrients than egg white. 93% of the iron of a whole egg is present in the yolk. The egg yolk has the most calcium content and seems to be more beneficial but due to its high cholesterol content, it should be consumed in moderation. Eggs are versatile and necessary for maintaining our overall health. It is best to not toss away the egg yolks as they are full of nutrients but cholesterol increases the worry. So, the choice between egg yolk and egg white entirely depends on your preferences and health needs.

Is Pea Protein Better Than Soy Protein?

Protein powders are helpful for those who need to gain weight as well those who are trying to increase their muscle mass. Vegan diets are becoming a huge trend and many people are also choosing vegetarian diets. This has led to a spectacular demand for plant-based protein sources. Since whey protein is made from animal sources, vegans and many vegetarians may not wish to use it. This is why plant-based alternatives like soy protein and pea protein are gaining everyone’s trust.

Why Do We Need Pea Protein and Soy Protein?

The main reason people choose to turn to supplements like soy protein powder is that they are concentrated, processed sources of protein. Compared with eating meat, eating a handful of legumes is not as dense with protein. To match the same level of protein as a meat-based diet, you would need to eat a lot of protein-rich plants. So, instead of eating excessive amounts of lentils, hemp seeds, oatmeal, sprouts, and pulses, vegetarians prefer to supplement their diets with protein powders. 

Protein powders can contain significantly high levels of protein by weight. A concentrated protein powder may be as much as 70% protein by weight, while a protein isolate powder may be as high as 90% pure protein. This is where you have to choose between soy protein powder and pea protein powder.

Pea Protein Powder vs Soy Protein Powder

Soy protein can be found in many soy products like soy protein powder, soy concentrates, and regular or cooked soybeans. Soybeans have a relatively high protein density along with other beneficial vitamins and minerals, plus they come with a compound called isoflavones. Isoflavones have been linked with numerous health benefits such as lower cancer risk. Soy protein provides all of the nine essential amino acids that your body requires. 

Pea protein also gives you all the essential amino acids that your body can’t make by itself but it is much lower in one of the acids, namely methionine. Pea protein powder is also high in amino acids that help to build lean muscle tissues. Additionally, it contains arginine, an amino acid linked with supporting better endurance.

The pros of soy protein powder are that it is more readily available and due to higher production, it is often the cheaper alternative. Soy protein may have an effect on hormone levels, however, this has not been proven scientifically yet. Soy may also cause an allergic reaction in some people.

The pros of pea protein are that it’s not produced on massive scales like soybeans, making the environmental impact of its cultivation relatively lower than soybean. 

Both soy protein and pea protein are at par with each other nutritionally. The protein density, fats, fibre, and carb content is similar between the two. If there is any nutritional advantage, it goes to pea protein since it has the highest levels of arginine and leucine amino acids as compared to all other plant protein sources

The main difference between the two then comes down to your own preferences. The higher risk of allergies, the potential side effects, and the overall less sustainable cultivation may turn some people away from soy-based powders. But the higher prices of pea protein may discourage many people from choosing it. 

Conclusion

It is unlikely that you can make your choice between pea protein powder and soy protein powder based on limited information. Consider consulting with a dietician as well. Most importantly, you need to verify with your doctor whether it is safe for you to start any of these supplements. 

In general, both are relatively safe and can improve your muscle gains when you have an appropriate routine. 

7 Soy Protein Benefits You Need to Know

Soy protein is a popular alternative to meat-based diets, both for its effects at balancing a diet and for increasing muscle mass. But what does soy protein contain and why is it beneficial? Should you try it out or stick to your existing diet? Soy protein benefits the people who wish to stick to a vegetarian or vegan diet, as there are no animal products used in its production.  

Soybeans are a type of legume – similar but not the same as kidney beans. Through a lot of research, soybeans were found to have a high protein content along with many other nutrients. Since then, efforts have been made to extract the beneficial aspects from this plant in a variety of ways, from soy protein isolate (used heavily in the food and meat industry) to soy flour that is used as an alternative to wheat flour. 

Soy Protein Nutrition Facts

The benefits of soy protein can be enjoyed in multiple forms, depending on your diet preferences and your fitness goals. Here are the soy protein nutritional facts based on common methods of consumption:

1. Soybeans  

Soybeans are dense in protein with about 18 g in every 100 g of soy-beans, fats make up 8-9 g each, and natural sugars are just 3 g. Soybeans have high fibre content, with 6% being dietary fibre (this can be higher or lower depending on the beans and the method of cooking). Soybeans also come with a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals like Iron, Manganese, Calcium, copper, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, Folate, and more. 

Lastly, plant compounds, especially isoflavones, are present in most dishes and products made from soybeans. These isoflavones may be linked to lower cancer risk in women as well as better bone retention after menopause. The bean form of soy can be enjoyed in other forms like edamame and tofu with tempeh that provide the highest protein and other nutritional content.

2. Soy Protein Isolate 

This pure form of soy protein comprises almost entirely of protein, with just 1 g of fat but sufficient amounts of Iron (4.1 mg), Potassium (23 mg), and Calcium (50 mg). Soy protein isolate benefits those who need or want to increase their weight while cutting down on their fat consumption. But a downside is that this form contains virtually no fibre, however, many manufacturers have started to add dietary fiber to the isolate powder.

7 Soy Protein Benefits

Listed below are the essential benefits of soy protein you should know before making it a part of your diet:

  1. It helps to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. People with high levels of cholesterol benefit the most and less processed soy products (beans, milk, etc.) are more effective than soy protein supplements.
  2. By increasing the protein intake and cutting down on fats, soy protein benefits those who are trying to manage weight issues. Also, the isoflavones may contribute to lower fat build-up in the internal organs. For people who are overweight, the benefits of soy protein may help to both support and speed up weight loss.
  3. Several studies have indicated that a higher proportion of soy isoflavones may contribute to lower breast and prostate cancers.
  4. Other benefits include possible improvements in heart health, reduction in blood pressure, and blood sugar. It may also be beneficial in reducing the effects of menopause. This may be highly beneficial for people with Type II diabetes and those suffering from cardiovascular issues due to obesity. 
  5. In its natural form, soy fibre helps to improve digestive health. The concentrated form is also useful for pregnant women and infants since it is digested very easily.
  6. A minor benefit that needs further investigation is the effect isoflavones have on skin health. An initial study suggested that it may improve elasticity and reduce wrinkles. 
  7. Soybean, its concentrates and supplements are a perfect solution for increasing protein intake in people with plant-based diets.

Reaping Benefits of Soy Protein Through Diet

Soy can be consumed in many forms:

  1. The whole legume may be used in many dishes after being boiled/steamed/fermented.
  2. The flour can be used to prepare bread.
  3. The concentrated protein form may be used in baked goods to increase the protein content of meat and as a dietary supplement.
  4. The soy protein isolate benefits and applications are seen primarily in food production with protein isolates being used in meat production but many people use it for increasing muscle mass and staying fit.

Conclusion

Most adults need between 46 g and 56 g of protein per day unless they have other dietary concerns (such as being underweight or attempting to increase body weight). There is a lot more research required to understand soy protein benefits in the long term. The current data suggests that consuming too much soy protein may cause negative impacts. Adding regular soybeans into your meal plans is considered safe and healthy for most people. 

However, it is recommended that you speak with a dietician before making any changes to your diet. Even if you are attempting to increase your muscle mass, keep in mind that excessive use of protein powder can have negative effects on your health.